Buying a new car can be an exciting time, but with plenty of options on the market, the decision can quickly become overwhelming. While we may get distracted by sleek looks and the power under the hood, finding a vehicle that gives you lots of space and allows you to pack away plenty for the weekend – without the price tag of a 4WD – is a no-brainer at the dealership. As a result, it’s no shock that SUVs have become such a popular choice for Aussie motorists. But which model should you be looking at?
To help narrow down your search, the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries releases a monthly report card on the best-selling cars in Australia – highlighting the most popular models on our roads. Check this page for regular updates on the best-selling SUVs, with May2019 top-sellers listed below:
- 1st Toyota RAV4
- 2nd Mazda CX-5
- 3rd Toyota Prado
- 4th Hyundai Tucson
- 5th Nissan X-Trail
- 6th Subaru Forester
- 7th Toyota LandCruiser
- 8th Mazda CX-3
- 9th Hyundai Kona
- 10th Subaru XV
#1 – Toyota RAV4 – 2,917 sales
Toyota’s medium-sized SUV, the RAV4 has long been on Aussie roads, with the model selling almost 3,000 units in May. Available in GX, GXL, Cruiser and Edge varieties, drivers can also choose from a 6speed manual or 6speed automatic, with 2WD or AWD options additionally available, giving motorists plenty of options, regardless of where you do most of your driving.
Available with Toyota’s Safety Sense – which includes features such as Pre-Collision Safety, plus Lane Departure Alert, Active Cruise Control, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Blind Spot Monitors – RAV4 models are also available in either a 2.0L or 2.5L petrol model, with a 2.2L turbo diesel engine additionally available if you’re looking to put your foot down (within speed limits of course).
#2 – Mazda CX-5 – 2,100 sales
Mazda’s flagship SUV model, the CX-5 is one of the most prominent models in the SUV market, selling 2,100 models in May. Available in Maxx, Maxx Sport, Touring, GT and now the Akera models, the CX-5 provides plenty of comfort and safety for drivers, with 360° View Monitor, a 7inch LCD infotainment unit and Mazda Radar Cruise Control.
Now available with a turbocharged SKYACTIV-G 2.5T engine – capable of churning out 170kW of power – the CX-5 also contains i-ACTIV AWD, which utilises real time data from 27 different monitors to improve driver safety, regardless of conditions. For those looking to put the foot down, a Kuroi Sports pack is additionally available for purchase, as is 19inch alloys and cargo illumination, to help personalise your ride.
#3 – Toyota Prado – 1,776 sales
One of Toyota’s more popular vehicles, the Prado may be a step down from the LandCruiser in terms of size, but can still pack a punch when it comes to power and storage. Selling over 1,700 units in May, the Prado is available in a number of models, including the GX, GXL, VX and Kakadu, each with 4WD and a 2.8L Turbo Diesel engine, providing plenty of grunt.
With five and seven-seat options available for families, the Prado includes Toyota’s Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System and Adaptive Variable Suspension to make your journey comfortable, with the Kakadu model coming with Multi-Terrain Select, ideal for those off-road expeditions. With bullbars, weathershields, and roof racks also available as additional extras, the Prado would be a useful addition in any lifestyle.
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#4 – Hyundai Tucson – 1,710 sales
The flagship SUV model for the Korean brand, the Hyundai Tucson sold over 1,700 units in May, with a range that includes the Go, Active, Elite and Highlander varieties for drivers to test out. With multiple engine types available across the Tucson range, drivers can opt for a 2WD or AWD model, with Hyundai additionally including Australian Tuned Suspension to suit the typical Aussie road trip.
With a Surround View Monitor (SVM) for increased road safety, the Tucson range also includes a panoramic glass sunroof, LED headlamps and even a heated steering wheel for those chilly mornings. Additional features include water resistant seat covers, bike racks and a portable cooler for when you need to keep chilled drinks close at hand.
#5 – Nissan X-Trail – 1,584 sales
One of Nissan’s longest running SUVs, the latest generation X-Trail is available in a variety of models, namely the ST, ST-L, N-Sport and T range, with drivers able to choose between petrol or diesel, and 5 or 7-seats.
Selling more than 1,500 units in May, the X-Trail includes features such as Intelligent Cruise Control, Emergency Braking and Pedestrian Detection, as well as a Divide-n-Hide flexible cargo system for when you need to load up for those big road trips. For creature comfort, the X-Trail also comes equipped with a 7inch touchscreen infotainment unit with built-in sat-nav, hands-free Bluetooth and keyless entry, allowing you to keep up with a busy lifestyle while staying safe on the road.
#6 – Subaru Forester – 1,472 sales
Now in its fifth generation, the Subaru Forester sold just under 1,500 units in May, proving a popular option for those keen on an SUV. Available in a number of model varieties, the Subaru Forester features automatic transmission with a 4-cyclinder petrol engine, capable of a minimum output of 136kW.
Also featuring daytime LED running lights, dusk sensing headlights and a shark-fin antenna, the Forester’s interior additionally includes a 6.3inch Multi-Function Display unit, six speakers for all of your tunes, as well as a 60/40 split folding rear seats for when you’ve got plenty to pack away.
#7 – Toyota LandCruiser – 1,399 sales
Another of the Japanese manufacturer’s large SUVs on the list, the LandCruiser is a common sight on our roads, owing to its 1,300 sales in May. Toyota’s longest running series model, the LandCruiser is a popular option for those who prefer to stick to the bitumen, or those who like to adventure off-road.
With a range that consists of the GX, GXL, VX and Sahara, the LandCruiser is available in 5, 7 and 8-seat models, giving you plenty of room for the family. Powered with a 4.6L V8 petrol or a 4.5L Turbo Diesel engine, the LandCruiser has plenty of grunt to get you to where you need to go, along with a Multi-Terrain Select system to help the ride on the bumpiest of roads. With an Electro Multi Vision Screen available with select models for all your tech and comfort needs, drivers can expect satellite navigation, Bluetooth connectivity as well as Rear Seat Entertainment systems to keep the kids happy on those long road trips.
#8 – Mazda CX-3 – 1,250 sales
Selling over 1,200 units in May, the Mazda CX-3 is proving to be a popular option for those keen on a smaller SUV. Available in both FWD and AWD models, the Mazda CX-3 range includes the Neo Sport, Maxx Sport, S Touring, Akari and Akari LE models, giving motorists plenty of options to test-drive.
With its Skyactiv Technology to increase driver comfort behind the wheel, Mazda also offers the MZD Connect infotainment unit, allowing for hands-free talk and text, as well as sat nav and music. Additional features include a reverse camera, Smart City Brake Support (SCBS), heated front seats and an electric parking brake for easy use, making your time in the driver’s seat enjoyable.
#9 – Hyundai Kona – 1,185 sales
One of the more recent inclusions to Hyundai’s line-up, the small Kona sold over 1,100 units in May. Offering plenty of variants to choose from, the Kona range includes the likes of the Go, Active, Elite, Highlander and Electric models, along with a special Iron Man edition if you’re looking for something that stands out on the road.
With a two-tone roof, rear LED lights and alloy wheels on most models, the Kona additionally includes a heated steering wheel, sunroof and plenty of colour options for the interior trim and stitching, allowing you to well and truly make the SUV your own. With Hyundai Auto Link and SmartSense safety features also installed, the Kona looks to have found the middle ground between fun and sensible.
#10 – Subaru XV – 1,164 sales
Based on the popular Impreza model, the Subaru XV sold over 1,100 sales in May, proving a popular option for those after a smaller SUV, or an Impreza with a bit more storage space. Available in a number of models, including the 2.0i, 2.0i-L, Premium and 2.0i-S, each model comes with AWD, as well as an 8inch LCD touchscreen infotainment unit, and a five-year warranty.
With a horizontally-opposed 4-cyclinder engine pushing out 115kW of power, the XV comes with 17inch wheels, as well as a range of creature comforts to make your time behind the wheel entertaining. With safety features such as collision avoidance, blind spot monitors, lane change assist in addition to Intelligent Driving Dynamics, the Subaru XV has an equal measure of fun and safety.
Which SUV should I buy?
While seeing what other people have bought may be a good starting place if you’re in the market for a new car, the decision will be unique to your situation, as well as your preferences. Those with a larger family may be more inclined to look at large SUVs such as the Toyota LandCruiser or Mazda CX-9, while those who prefer an SUV but aren’t willing to spend big may be interested in the smaller Mazda CX-3 or Hyundai Kona. If you’re also interested in finding out what is the most popular model on Aussie roads, head on over to our top selling cars page.
As with any big decision, it’s best to do your research before you step into a dealership, as factors such as fuel economy, safety, technology and extras could all sway your final decision, with each brand and SUV usually available with a variety of models. Comparing SUVs may be time-consuming, but will have been worth it when you get behind the wheel of your dream car, knowing you drove away with a good deal.
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